MOSCOW, October 11. /TASS/. An observer at the Belarussian presidential election, representing the Russian Central Elections Commission, Evgeny Kolushin forecasts the turnout at the presidential election will be high.
"The big early voting lasted for a week," he said. "Now the polling station are working, and I believe the turnout will be high."
As yet, there are not too many voters at the polling stations, he said, adding usually young voters prefer to come later on a day off.
"Many elderly have voted beforehand," he said. "The youth is still asleep, and the elderly usually get up earlier."
Four candidates run for presidency in Belarus. The polling stations opened at 8 a.m. and will be closed at 8 p.m. (the time coincides with Moscow Time). According to preliminary data, the voting turnout is expected to be high. During the five days of the early voting 36,05% voters enrolled in voting lists came to the polling stations. This is a record high turnout in the early voting during the period the election campaigns are held in Belarus.
As the polling stations close, exit polls results will be published, and the Central Election Commission plans to announce preliminary results of the election at about 1 at night on October 12.
The Belarusian presidential campaign is monitored by more than 900 international observers. The majority of international monitors represent two missions. About 400 representatives come from the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and another 400 represent the CIS mission. Heads of both missions are expected to voice preliminary reports on the election on October 12 already.
A total of 940 journalists from 30 countries are covering presidential election, the republic’s ministry of information says.
The presidential candidates are chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party Sergey Gaidukevich, representative of the Tell the Truth civic campaign Tatiana Korotkevich, incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko and Chairman of the Belarusian Patriotic Party Nikolay Ulakhovich. The current president, who won the election in 1994, 2001, 2006 and 2010, expects to take the helm of the country for the fifth time. During the previous election, in which 10 candidates took part, Lukashenko received 79.6% of the vote.